The Very Best Bristol Pub Crawls
Think you know Bristol? Well, you’ve not really got a grip on what this city is about until you’ve visited its various localities, and what better way to do that than sampling a few pubs along the way? Here are the routes I think are particularly good for that time old tradition of pub crawling.
The original, and arguably still the best. The harbour boasts some of the city’s best watering holes coupled with some great views (I mean, who doesn’t love boats and multicoloured houses?).
1. The Ostrich – take advantage of that big terrace overlooking the water
— Jet-setter Jones (@Jetsetter_Jones) August 7, 2015
2. The Orchard – try to pick from their extensive cider selection
— Cider lover (@theciderlover) June 20, 2015
3. The Nova Scotia – great views of Cumberland Basin
4. The Pump House – top notch food and the biggest gin stash in Bristol if not the UK
— Pump House Bristol (@PumpHseBristol) September 2, 2015
5. The Grain Barge – bar on a boat! And they do music! And pie!
— Mirsini Koumpa (@MirsiniK) February 5, 2015
St Michael’s Hill
A more condensed route, but the clue’s in the name here – it’s on a steep bloody hill, so make sure you start at the top.
1. The Highbury Vaults – cosy ale pub with a great garden out back, and bar billiards!
Favourite bar, little bar at the front of the Highbury Vaults, Kingsdown, Bristol pic.twitter.com/ylCLwAGaAE
— Nick Hand (@nickhand) June 20, 2013
2. Beerd – Craft beer bar which also serves tasty pizza
— Ben chivers (@chivs_88) September 16, 2015
3. The White Bear – large and comfortable pub with boardgame, nice.
4. The Robin Hood – small but packed with interesting beers
5. The Colston Arms – a great traditional local – top roasts too.
— Colston Arms (@ColstonArms) July 15, 2015
An edgier route but arguably more ‘culturally enriching’, ie. you can look at some good grafitti and buy a PRSC mug. The pubs here all a bit different and it’s worth veering into Montpelier for some extra hidden treats!
1. The Full Moon – a proper party pub with a huge front terrace and shisha garden!
— Cheba (@cheba_bristol) July 23, 2015
2. The Bell – quirky little pub with home cooked food & a cute garden out back
— Clifton Short Lets (@CliftonShortLet) October 16, 2015
3. Canteen – the cultural hub of Stokes Croft, with excellent food & live music
4. The Crofters Rights – a fun craft beer bar, and also features Ray’s Pizza
— Brewtorial (@brewtorial_uk) October 20, 2015
5. The Hillgrove – 5mins behind Stokes Croft, but worth the detour. Great ales & food.
— Shonette (@Shonette) November 5, 2015
The most ambitious pub crawl there is – I’ve yet to meet anyone who has completed the whole stretch from Horfield Common down to the Arches (around 20 pubs, eeek). Still, it’s arguably the best stretch for eating and drinking in the city.
1. The Golden Lion – small lively pub, keep an eye out for their gig listings!
2. The Flyer – spacious and comfy, with a decent bar selection too
3. The Gallimaufry – friendly lounge bar with excellent food and good live music
4. The Prince of Wales – traditional pub with a nice relaxed atmosphere
5. The Cat & Wheel – a strange one, worth visiting if only for bizarre karaoke on Sunday nights.
North Street, Bedminster
A more residential area, but made more lively recently by an influx of top notch bars and restaurants.
1. The Coronation – proper local pub, with Natch in cans!
2. The Steam Crane – big pub with board games and an impressive beer list
— The Steam Crane (@thesteamcrane) September 9, 2015
3. The Hare – a cute little pub which prides itself on its ale selection and little beer garden
— The Hare (@TheHarePub) September 24, 2015
4. The Old Bookshop – weird and wonderful bar; the food is as impressive as the decor
— The Old Bookshop (@theoldbookshop) July 28, 2015
5. The Spotted Cow – a good all-rounder; good drinks, great food and a huuuge garden
— ben baker (@Shake_n_Bake_1) September 4, 2013
Next on my list of pub crawl routes to conquer are Totterdown and Clifton Village – wish me luck on my daring quest!
There’s A Website Reviewing Bristol’s Pub Toilets
It’s the website Bristol didn’t know it needed
A small group has started a Bristol website called ‘Review My Loo’ with the idea that the group go around and review Bristol bars and restaurant toilets hoping to improve the Bristol toilet experience.
Rated out of cleanliness, size, comfort and decoration with a blurb at the end about the overall toilet experience.
The best in Bristol is currently Hi Brazil at 4/5:
“A diamond amongst the rough. Located out of the way up the stairs. Pristinely kept with good quality basins and loos. They are of a good size, so there is no issue of crumbling under several eyes looking at your piece. They are comfortable toilets. Due to size you can do your business in peace , and it is beautifully decorated with a modern art deco feel.”
Whilst The Canteen stands bottom at 1.5/5:
“These toilets aren’t the best. The graffiti on the wall makes you almost intimidated to have a wee. They are very small and prone to queues, with the likelihood you will be standing shoulder to shoulder with someone when having doing your business. The toilets looks like they have been vandalised by a youth gang. Overall bad experience.”
If you’ve got a Bristol toilet experience you’d like to share you can send your reviews into firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
Review My Loo: https://reviewmyloo.com/
HMSS Bar Launches New ‘Guide To The British Isles’ Cocktail Menu
I’ve been known to enjoy a cocktail or few. What sane 26 year old doesn’t? I’d take a cold, champagne pink cosmo over a glass of white wine any day. There’s something so indulgent about going out for a round manhattans or margaritas, whether it’s with friends or family – it puts a spring in your step. Well, spring is an understatement, especially if you have five espresso martinis in a row. They’re mostly coffee anyway right…? As I found out the other night at BeAtOne, probably not. But they are o so good.
I went to check out the new cocktail menu at Her Majesty’s Secret Service (HMSS) on Whiteladies Road on Monday night. Despite it being the start of the week, I never turn down a chance to don the lippie, get dressed up and sip on peculiar potions.
HMSS can be found on the doorstep of Clifton Down station. Established two years ago, the 80-capacity bar’s interior is classy, quirky, romantic and rebellious. If you’re up for more than just drinking, there are games of jenga and a great selection of music to lose yourself in; from old school hip hop, through 70’s & 80’s funk to the occasional piece of classic cheese.
At the start of the month, the bar launched the first in a brand new series of British-inspired cocktail menus. This one comes in the form of Winston the bulldog’s Guide To The British Isles – a light hearted illustrated drinking journey through the UK’s favourite attractions. Drinkers are taken from the White Cliffs of Dover to Loch Ness and every great landmark in between. If you’re one for out-of-the-box or unusual ingredients, you’ll be a happy customer. Acorn vermouth, laughing gas and even a chip of prehistoric stone feature in the ingredients lists.
Founder of the Clifton-based bar, Ben Alcock, said: “The menu has been created to start conversations, be a visual aid, an icebreaker and a souvenir that embodies the bar and the inspirations of HMSS.
“Whether its tourists discovering the wonders of the country or simply reminding Brits of the delights we hold, the new series of menus will embody the best of Britain.”
The menu itself is presented in the style of a vintage pocket edition travel guide, which now looks very pretty on my wooden coffee table. Inside you’ll find an assortment of highly interactive, humorous, playful and impeccably presented drinks that are a far cry from the standard cocktail offerings.
Here are a few of my personal favourites:
- Green Manalishi (£8.50)
Barcardi Carta Blanca, Hemp Orgeat, Lime, Aloe Vera Oil, 1 Chip of Prehistoric Stone
- Loch Ness Mobster (£8.50)
Patron Silver Tequila, Peach Wine, Lemon Juice, Absinthe, Laughing Gas
- Twister (£8.50)
Grey Goose LaPoire, Mozart Strawberry, Kiwi Sherbet, Milk, Whole Egg White
- Greenhouse Project (£9.00)
Sugar Snap Hendricks, Dry White Wine, Spear Asparagus, Celery Bitters
Her Majesty’s Secret Service address: Whiteladies Gate, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PH
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